Is This The World That We Live In?

“What separates us from the animals, what separates us from the chaos, is our ability to mourn people we’ve never met.”

— David Levithan, Love Is The Higher Law

I have always loved the above quote for its optimism and the feeling that maybe, just maybe, there is some hope for mankind. But unfortunately, on a day like today, when I woke in the early hours to hear the news of explosions, injuries and deaths at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, I feel as though it can be turned on its head.

What separates us from the animals - and brings us closer to the chaos - is our ability to injure, hurt, kill people we've never met; and not to do it with the purpose of survival - but to do it with the purpose of inflicting intentional pain.

Then I read on one of the live updates about a series of co-ordinated car bombs overnight in Iraq, which killed at least 55 people. Iraq is currently preparing for its first elections since coalition forces left the country.

On both sides of the world, people who were going about their daily lives were suddenly forced into fear and horror and blood and pain and death - because someone else decided to make a nightmare become reality.

What I would truly like to understand is this; what is the reasoning behind these people doing what they do? Because what scares me the most is that there may be no reason beyond a wish to make themselves heard - not out of a cry for their cause, or their suffering, but simply because they are hollow people.

What I want to say is not about apportioning blame to extremist groups, or pointing fingers at a particular religious persuasion, or anything along those lines. It is simply this.

The outpouring of love and support from around the world for the victims of the explosions in Boston is already incredible. It gladdens my heart to see it.

But I wonder; how many people are thinking of the dead in Iraq this morning. And I also wonder where and when this is going to end. After all, I sat in Jakarta as the Australian Embassy was bombed in 2004. I had been there for exactly two days. I watched again from the skies above the city in 2009 as a hotel with security to the eyeballs went up in smoke - and an Australian lost their life.

Because people are people are people. And some people have no moral compass.

Even if we call down the wrath of the angels on those who committed this act - there will be seven more to take their place. Unless there is a fundamental shift in the paradigm, nothing will change.

And all those who are willing to stand up and say 'this isn't the way it should be' - all of the people who do have the ability to mourn people they have never met - will continue beating their heads against a very solid brick wall of deliberate malice aforethought.

Thinking of you Boston, Massachusetts, USA. And Kamaliya, Iraq.

And mourning your losses.